As I reflect on my career and more specifically this last year, I thought I’d share some of my key learnings from 2019 with you all.


Before Found & Flourish

In 2016, I experienced a full on burnout, I was working in the media industry and found myself becoming stressed tired and ill. I left my job without a backup plan (that’s how desperate I was).

I spent a few months healing and studying nutrition before setting up my own consultancy, which I ran alongside taking a nutrition diploma. I LOVED working with clients on a 121 basis, it gave me so much joy watching them flourish. That said, it was also the loneliest job I had ever had, one I’m sure many solo-business owners can relate to.

After having my son Bodhi I knew I didn’t want to go back to working on my own, so went on a search to find my tribe but found little in the way of groups that really resonated with me. And so, the idea for F&F was born. 

It’s not easy running your own business, it doesn’t come without its challenges and it can be incredibly lonely navigating the start-up space on your own. We have made a choice to be brave, step out of our comfort zone and do something we believe will have a positive impact on the world. 

I have met hundreds of women over the last 12 months, women from around the world who have incredible ideas, all working towards making this world a better place. I am in awe of you all and feel so lucky you’ve chosen to share your journey with the Found & Flourish Community. 

From the bottom of my heart thank you. xxx


So what have I learned?

Having run Found & Flourish for just over a year now, I thought I’d share some of my key learnings, from a personal perspective. Aside from the obvious things like having your finances in check, knowing which direction you want to take your business and having SMART goals laid out, here’s what I’ve learned…

Vulnerability is a strength

By being vulnerable you’re accepting you do not have all the answers which opens you up to connection and collaboration with fascinating people. It’s from these connections you widen your circle, open your mind to new ways of thinking and forge long lasting relationships.

Read this blog for tips on resilience and how you develop it by Rachida Benamar.

You’re never on your own, even on the days when you feel lonely

You’re a DM, message, email or call away from someone who cares. I understand it’s not always as easy as saying “I need help”, but I’ve been there, I’ve had dark days when I’ve felt I have no one to turn to who will understand, but we are here for you. The sisterhood is strong and so are you.

Email me if you’re feeling a little lost and sign up to our membership where you will have access to a super supportive community offering virtual hugs, solidarity and accountability for every step of the way.

Show kindness whenever you can

It costs nothing to be kind. When you do things for others without expecting anything in return, amazing things happen. Whether it’s offering a friendly ear, a chat over a coffee or perhaps supporting someone who could do with your expertise, by paying it forward you find yourself in a wonderful chain reaction of kind deeds and this is priceless in the world of business. Plus, people will always remember those who helped them.

Listen

In a world full of noise, being able to listen is a true art. Listen to the people around you, your clients, your community, your family, your friends… one of the ways I have been able to grow my community is by listening to what they need, how they feel and what they’re struggling with. By listening to my community I have been able to tailor my offering so that F&F brings as much value to their lives as possible.

“Being human is a competitive advantage”

This is a phrase coined by my good friend Sallee Poinsette-Nash, human brand builder and founder of Brandable and Co. In a world where digital technology and automation is in abundance, we must embrace our humanness and remember that it’s ok to show our human side. In fact, it’s essential if we are to stand out. Tell your story and own it. Because there’s only one of you and no one else has had your sequence of experiences and that makes you unique.

Trust your gut – it knows what to do

You will hear a lot of opinions when it comes to your work or business, some who support you and others who question your choices. I’ve learned over the last few years that every answer you need you already have. Take the time to sit with how you feel and ask yourself “does this feel right?” If it does, keep going. You got this.

Feeling overwhelmed? Read this blog by Katy Murray.


A few event highlights from the last 12 months

A big thank you to personal branding photographers Elaine Potter and Sara Dalrymple for the gorgeous pictures.

Also, thank you to our venue partners Huckletree, Platf9rm and Cuckooz Nest who have been incredibly supportive the last year.

And lastly, thank you to everyone who has attended one of our events. X

PR Masterclass – How to get publicity for you and your business with Lucy Werner – 10/19

Video filmed and produced by Lucia Desperati at Key Frames Uk.

Personal Branding Masterclass with Sallee Poinsette-Nash – 11/19

Video filmed and produced by Dawn Kelly at BirdLimeMedia

F&F Christmas Party – 12/19

Video filmed and produced by Dawn Kelly at BirdLimeMedia
With love, Lara x

About the author

Lara Sheldrake is a social media strategist and the founder at Found & Flourish. Lara writes and speaks on the topics of entrepreneurship, motherhood and social media for business. She also hosts the Bossing It podcast, aimed at empowering the next generation of female founders in the UK. Send Lara an email. You can also find her on Instagram @Lara_Sheldrake or Twitter @Lara_Sheldrake.

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